Rabies is contagious to mammals, where three clinical stages are recognized. The first phase ranges from a period of one to three days and is characterized by behavioral changes and is known as the prodromal phase. The second is the arousal phase, which lasts three or four days and is often known as raging rage due to the affected animal's tendency to be over-reactive to external stimuli and to bite into nearby things.
The third is the paralytic phase and is caused by damage to motor neurons. In this case there is difficulty in coordinating the hind limbs, drooling in the mouth and difficulty swallowing due to paralysis of the facial muscles and throat.
Death is usually caused by respiratory arrest. The study: Epidemiology of Animal Rabies - China, 2010-2020, published on the China CDC weekly, said us: "Rabies is a fatal zoonotic infectious disease that poses a serious threat to public health in China.
Since 2005, a National Animal Rabies Surveillance System has been operating to understand the rabies situation in animals in China with a view to control and eventually eliminate dog-mediated human rabies. From 2010, the brain tissues of dogs, livestock, and wild animals showing rabies-like clinical signs were collected and tested by the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Animal Rabies to analyze the epidemiological characteristics of rabies, including animal species, geographic distribution, and transmission sources.
Over the same period, clinically suspected animal rabies cases were collected by Animal Disease Control Centers through the National Animal Disease Monitoring Information Platform (NADMIP) and then reported in the Veterinary Bulletin.
During 2010-2020, 170 of 212 suspected animal rabies cases were submitted to and confirmed by NRL as rabies virus-positive. Of these confirmed cases dogs, especially free-roaming and ownerless dogs in rural areas, were major transmission hosts (71/170).
A total of 51 infected dogs attacked humans with 45 biting more than one person. The dog cases were reported all year round, but with significantly more in spring and summer. The majority of livestock rabies cases (70/80) being caused by rabid wild foxes in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia revealed that foxes play a pivotal role in animal rabies epizootics in the north and northwest of the country.
Dogs were the main transmission sources of rabies in China, and along with the recent increase of rabies in foxes and other wildlife, presented an increasing threat to livestock and public health. "